Research Programs


The Penn Epilepsy Center is the best comprehensive center in the region, and one of America’s best. We use a team approach for personalized care and offer the newest medication trials, brain imaging techniques to map seizures only found at Penn, and guarantee same week appointments, and often the same or next day.  We offer a transition program to adult care for children & young adults, state of the art minimally invasive epilepsy surgery (Visualase laser ablation, NeuroPace RNS devices, endoscopic epilepsy surgery  (only at Penn)) and we are piloting and inventing tomorrow’s therapies. We are one of the world’s leaders in monitoring patients continuously throughout their evaluations, in the operating room and throughout their hospitalizations to prevent complications and “silent” or subclinical seizures.

Centers and Programs


  • Davis Lab - Dr. Davis’ research centers around utilizing both the advancing fields of invasive neurophysiology and neuroimaging to better localize epileptic networks in medication refractory epilepsy patients. She hopes that improving localization will enable epileptologists to better localize epileptic networks and assign individual patients to the most efficacious therapy, for example, seizure control devices, resective surgery, or continued medical management.

  • Jensen Lab - The major focus of my laboratory is on developing new age-specific therapies for epilepsy and its comorbidities. We specifically focus on forms of epilepsy that affect the infant and early childhood brain, and have extensive expertise in investigations of human tissue as well as rat and mouse models of early life epilepsy. Our interests have been on hypoxic/ischemic injury and seizures in the perinatal and young postnatal brain. My lab has published expertise in cellular and regional alterations in synaptic proteins and signaling pathways using whole animal, human tissue, and in vitro brain slices and cell cultures. Almost 20 years ago we showed that hypoxia can induce seizures in the neonatal brain and this increased network excitability in adulthood; over the years we have worked to show that AMPARs are involved in this epileptogenesis and that spontaneous seizures are increased in adulthood, confirming this as a model of epileptogenesis

  • Litt Lab - The Litt laboratory translates NeuroEngineering research directly into patient care. We collaborate broadly across disciplines to invent, develop and test new technologies and apply them to basic and clinical research. While epilepsy is the lab’s core focus, our multidisciplinary efforts span a variety of scientific and clinical areas, including brain-machine interfaces, functional neurosurgery, network and computational neuroscience, movement disorders, intra-operative and ICU monitoring, and a broad array of “brain network” disorders.

  • Vitale Lab - The Vitale Lab focuses on creating novel technologies to study, monitor and treat neurological and neuromuscular disorders such as epilepsy, Parkinson's, nerve injury, and chronic pain. Their research focuses on engineering the electrochemical, mechanical and optical properties of nanostructured materials and integrating them in soft, multimodal bioelectronic interfaces that can seamlessly monitor and modulate the nervous system at high spatio-temporal resolution and at multiple scales, from individual cells to large-scale circuits.

  • Conrad Lab - Dr. Conrad's research focuses on using quantitative EEG analysis to improve our understanding and treatment of epilepsy, spanning early diagnosis and classification to improved surgical treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy

  • Ellis Lab - Dr. Ellis's research is focused on the genetic basis of epilepsy. He is particularly interested in the discovery of genes that cause epilepsy; the heritability of epilepsy within families; and the use of genetics to improve the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy. An additional focus is data mining and natural language processing on electronic health records to improve research and clinical care in epilepsy.

  • Gugger Lab - The Gugger lab is focused on harnessing the power of quantitative brain imaging to improve our understanding of neurological disorders. To accomplish this, they leverage the group’s expertise in bioengineering, neuroscience, and medicine to define neurobiological readouts from brain imaging data from large multicenter consortia of patients with epilepsy and traumatic brain injury. The lab’s goal is to develop neuroimaging-based biomarkers that can be rapidly translated to the clinic to better characterize disease, predict outcomes, and ultimately lead to more effective therapies.
  • Talos Lab